Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that can help relieve some conditions associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Studies suggest it can help relieve your period pain...

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Research also shows that fish oil can reduce triglycerides and insulin resistance...

Fish oil can be especially helpful for women with PCOS because people with the condition are at increased risk of heart disease and increased triglyceride levels. However, a recent study showed that dietary supplements may not be as effective at reducing heart disease risk as previously thought..Your best bet? To add more fatty fish to your diet instead of relying on supplements.

What is fish oil?

Fish oil is stored in the fat of cold water fish and is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fat that is rich in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

EPA and DHA are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce and that can only come from diet or supplements. These essential fatty acids are an essential part of cell membranes throughout the body and a building block for hormones that regulate blood clotting and inflammation.

Out of balance

The standard American diet generally does not contain omega-3 fats, while it is also high in omega-6 fats, another polyunsaturated fat..Omega-6 fatty acids are mainly found in vegetable oils, which are commonly used in baked goods and fried foods.

Because of this abundance of omega-6 fats in the Western diet, the recommended ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is out of whack, leading to an increase in obesity, according to one study..According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the optimal ratio is undefined and too unspecific for the average person. Instead, the NIH generally recommends that increasing your omega-3 intake is more important than reducing your omega-6 intake..This also applies to women with PCOS.

Adding fish oil to your diet

To get the most health benefits from omega-3 rich fish oil in your diet, it is best to simply eat more fish. Another alternative is to take fish oil supplements, although the evidence has shown this to be a little more complicated: consuming more oily fish seems to protect against cardiovascular disease (CVD) and many CVD results, but more recent studies have shown That omega-3 supplements may not offer the same protection..The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of cold water fish per week.

Mackerel, tuna, salmon, sturgeon, mullet, bluefish, anchovy, sardine, herring, trout, and menhaden are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids and contain about 1 gram of essential fats per 3.5-ounce serving, or about 3/4 Cup of scaly fish..Make sure you cook them grilled or grilled rather than fried to get their best benefits.

Taking fish oil supplements

Fish oil is generally safe and well tolerated by most people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, when taken in low doses (less than 3 grams per day). Be sure to look for a supplement that uses small fish like anchovies or sardines in place of tuna, for example to limit mercury exposure.

The currently recommended daily allowance for adult women is 1.1 grams.

Studies suggest that the following doses of fish oil can be helpful for a variety of medical conditions:

  • High triglycerides: 1 to 4 grams per day..
  • Painful menstrual periods: 300 milligrams (mg) omega-3 (180 mg EPA and 120 mg DHA), especially in combination with 200 IU of vitamin E...
  • Increase in insulin sensitivity: 1 to 4 grams per day..

Some people may experience unpleasant side effects when taking fish oil supplements, such as: B. fishy belching. Taking fish oil with meals or keeping supplements in the freezer can prevent this.

Talk to your doctor

Before taking fish oil, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor to determine if the supplement is right for you and how much to take.

Patients with blood thinners such as aspirin, Lovenox, Coumadin, or heparin should not take fish oil as this can increase the risk of bleeding.

Patients taking medication for high blood pressure should also exercise caution when taking fish oil, as the combination can lower blood pressure too drastically.

Birth control pills can interfere with the triglyceride lowering effects of fish oil, and women should exercise caution when combining these drugs.

Do not take fish oil supplements if you are allergic to fish.

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